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CAT Topper Interview

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CAT Topper Interview
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Thumbs up CAT Topper Interview - January 10th, 2013

A thread where CAT/XAT toppers share their experiences of cracking the CAT/XAT.
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Thumbs up Re: CAT Topper Interview - January 10th, 2013

Name: Shaunak Acharya

Institute : FMS,Delhi(Batch of 2014)

CAT Score: 99.97%ile

Rank: 1(on the basis of CAT score)



Q1. Tell us something about yourself
I am Shaunak, currently in my first year, pursuing MBA at FMS. Delhi.
Prior to this, I have worked in the IT Services Industry for nearly three years, after completing my Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 2009.I am an ardent Manchester United fan, and do take keen interest in painting and reading Novels.

Q2.How is life at your institute
Life at FMS is full of varied experiences, with tedious assignments, tough exams and various activities like Group tasks, group presentations, Societies, pitching for various activities, mentoring and being mentored, content development, participating in various corporate events and other B-school competitions.

Q3.How did you prepare for CAT2011?
The entire preparation is CAT centric, and the basics are all covered when one prepares for CAT. For other Management exams, sometimes there are certain topics which require special attention. In such cases solving the last 3 / 4 years paper & practicing some Mock papers helps. Only the Decision making section of XAT requires entirely segregated effort as far as CAT is concerned.

Q4.What is the difficulty level as compared to other exams like XAT or NMAT or IIFT?
CAT & XAT are tougher than any other MBA entrance exam.

Q5.What was your strategy to crack CAT?
I believe Quant is my strongest area, evident from the fact that I scored 221/ 225 in CAT 2011 in Section1. Well I was strong in Quant, and surfing forums, solving doubts at Workplace helped. Whenever someone posted a doubt on the forums, I used to try and solve it without using a pen. This was done deliberately, and after sustained practice it helped as my mock scores, especially in Quant/DILR soared.
Also being strong in a section has it’s own negatives. In any exam, in case u fail to live up to your potential in your strongest section, the entire paper goes awry. To nullify such possibilities, confidence is the key and whenever mock scores fell, I used to go back to basics, like revising some fundamentals, solve some puzzles, revise some shortcuts, some marked questions with typical approaches etc.

Q6.Which sections in CAT were you uncomfortable with?
Overall the CAT 2011 was easier as compared to previous papers of 2007/08.
Section 2 had some tricky questions in Verbal and RC.

Q7.Which section needed utmost preparation?
Verbal/RC was my weakest section. Initially I used to score pretty less in Verbal/RC section and was worried about my performance in this section. Took suggestions from past CAT toppers, eminent CAT trainers (as shared on forums), but nothing helped. Then I decided not to follow the suggestions but device a strategy of my own. No fancy speed reading, no word list mugging, no grammar rules, the idea was simple. You need to read a sentence, paragraph, RC passage and get the essence of the passage, something that sounds good should be grammatically correct, and elimination helped a lot. Patience, sustained effort and practice helped me improve my Verbal scores.

Q8.How did you manage time during the CAT exam?
In Section1- QA/DI I attempted all the questions, and in Verbal left questions where I was not sure, especially direct ones, like synonyms, antonyms, grammar, things which are direct and non-inferential in nature.
In Section2, I attempted 27 questions out of 30. I first attempted all LR questions in section2, 7 in number. I completed these 7 in some 20 minutes and devoted the remaining time in VA/RC sections. Verbal and RC questions were dicey with extremely close options and unlike mock exam questions. There was a degree of uncertainty about most of the RC questions I ticked. Also I left 2 grammar questions and one phrasal verb question.


Q9.How was your GDPI experience?
Kept abreast with the current happenings, also i do write sometimes, blogs, snippets etc.
At FMS, the GD went well. Post GD, I had a one minute extempore and the personal interview round. Overall the experience was satisfactory.

Q10.Do you have any advice for CAT aspirants?
Here I would like to mention that every individual is unique in his/her own way. So everyone should have their own preparation strategy, customized as per one’s needs. The target is to secure a good score in a National level MBA entrance(s), there are too many sources, too many online mocks, materials, discussion forums, which are tools for enhancing knowledge. Device your own strategy, make use of the resources in hand, be regular, and whenever your performance dips, never doubt your own ability, just make sure that u do enough to maintain your standard.

Last edited by meheer; January 17th, 2013 at 12:41 PM..
   
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Re: CAT Topper Interview - June 6th, 2013

Great post. Thanks for sharing the CAT Topper interview.
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Re: CAT Topper Interview - December 31st, 2013

Really very influential,highly impressed after reading this interview conversation.
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Re: CAT Topper Interview - June 29th, 2015

CAT Topper Neha Manglik

1) Congratulations on your perfect 100! Were you expecting this result?
Neha: Thank you. My exam went well, so I was expecting a good percentile, but 100 percentile is something I was never sure of.

2) What is your sectional percentile?
Neha: My sectional percentiles are 99.84 for Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation, and 100 for Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning.

3) You have done your engineering from BITS Pilani. Why did you decide to go for MBA?
Neha: Unlike what most people think, MBA is not always just finance. It teaches management principles, which are useful to manage every part of your life. So yes, MBA has always been a dream. Also, in BITS, I took up electives like Principles of Management, Human Resource Development and I realised I wanted to know more about these topics. This gave me another reason to do an MBA.

4) Tell us something about your family. How supportive are they about your MBA dream?
Neha: My mother is a school teacher while my father is working in a private company. I have younger brother. Fortunately, my family has always supported and motivated me in all my endeavours including MBA.

5) What is your preferred MBA specialization or career path which you want to pursue post MBA?
Neha: IIMs have common subjects in the first year, and then on the basis of what we like, we can take electives in the second year. I will use my knowledge of subjects that I gain in the first year to determine which subjects I take up in second year and choose my career accordingly.

6) What was your preparation strategy and routine study period for CAT.
Neha: If I may say so, I had started my preparation from childhood itself by solving logical and mathematical puzzles along with reading and writing poetries and literature since I was a kid. For the last six months, I focused on giving mocks and analysing areas in which I could improve. There was no fixed schedule or routine; I gave time to preparation based on what was required and what was available.


7) Did you take coaching for CAT? Do you think coaching is necessary for being successful in CAT?
Neha: Yes, I had joined coaching. I had also joined online workshop for CAT. Coaching did help me as my study methodology and mock tests were much more systematic with the help of the expert guidance. Regular analysis of mock tests also helped me in devising changes in preparation strategy.
I do not think it is necessary to join coaching for CAT. Preparation can be done through group studies with friends, reading online or popular study materials etc. Keep yourself motivated so that you do not lose focus. Take as many mock tests and possible and analyze them thoroughly.

8) What was your exam taking strategy?
Neha: I ensured that I didn't waste too much time on just a few questions. As long as I was able to finish the paper on time, I believed in my capability to maintain a good accuracy rate. In CAT, I attempted all 100 questions because I wasn't good at separating the easy ones from the hard ones like most coaching institutes suggest!

9) Tell us about your strong and weak areas in CAT?
Neha: Quantitative, logical reasoning and grammar questions were my strong areas. I was also good at reading comprehension as I have a high reading speed. I was comparatively weaker at Data Interpretation, especially speed math based questions. For that, I did Vedic Maths. I searched for videos online and completely changed my way of calculation, including basic things like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

10) What would be your tips for CAT 2015 aspirants and fellow CAT takers?
Neha: I urge all my friends to believe in themselves and not lose focus of their goal. Don't let disappointments get to you, I'm sure you'll do great in CAT and in life! Always remember - The one who wins is the one who thinks he/she can.
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Re: CAT Topper Interview - January 19th, 2016

CAT 2014 Topper Akash Gupta who is an IIT Kharagpur student and cracked CAT 2014 in his first attempt with 99.94 percentile.

Which sections of CAT were your strength and which were your weak areas?

Akash Gupta: I was confident about most of the CAT syllabus. QA, DI and LR were my strengths. I was a little sketchy in VA, but not so much to call it my weakness.

Do you think taking coaching classes is necessary to crack CAT?

Akash Gupta: I think coaching classes are not at all necessary to crack CAT. I myself prepared for CAT-2014 without any coaching class and successfully cracked it with only 3 months of preparation

Which IIM is your choice and why?

Akash Gupta: IIM Ahmedabad, simply because it is the best management Institute in the country.

What is your advice to the CAT aspirants?



Akash Gupta: There is no universal preparation strategy for CAT. It depends on the candidate only. The syllabus is nothing new, everything is high school, and only the approach is different. Don%u2019t follow the herd. Take a few mocks without any preparation, and see where you stand. Categorize the topics as strong, moderate, weak and null and plan accordingly. Try not to leave any topic, with 50 questions in a section there is high chance that almost all of the topics will be covered. If you feel you need coaching, join one. If you feel group study is the way to go, do it. If you think you should do it alone, go for it. Don%u2019t put extra burden on yourself, there is still enough time to ace the examination. Answer questions depending on your level of confidence on the topics, rather than the feasibility of the answers. Set subject goals, not time ones. Lastly, practice as much as you can!
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